Think Big, Start Small and Scale Fast
As Albert Toffler, the writer and futurist said ‘You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction’.
India is poised to emerge as the largest SMB country globally, with 48.8mn small and medium businesses, currently making it one of the fastest growing SMB nations globally. However, whilst most global economies are reeling under the looming economic crisis; the Indian SMB in particular, is vulnerable as they generally have smaller customer bases and limited product lines in highly competitive markets in comparison to MNC’s or bigger enterprises. The challenge therefore is building long term competitive momentum while taking the right baby steps towards business goals; employing technology as an enabler all the way.
Winning SMB organizations depend on IT to help them operate cost-efficiently, innovate, and get to market more quickly than their competition. IT is critical to sustaining and increasing business success. If IT can’t respond quickly, it can be a serious bottleneck. Studies have shown a distinct correlation between SMB investments in technology and their business performance. Radically successful SMBs are more growth driven, invest more in technology and use technology for building a competitive advantage. They are also much more likely to anticipate revenue gains than peers whose tech investments are flat or declining-and the gap is widening. In 2011, 81% of SMBs that planned to spend more on technology forecast revenue growth for 2012, while only 45% of SMBs with flat IT budgets, and just 34% of those with decreased IT budgets expected their businesses to grow.
Today, Indian SMBs handle about 20-100 TB of data and data management is a significant issue. Reports have shown that almost every SMB is looking forward to about a 10-40 percentage of growth in business data, on a yoy basis. With today’s challenging business environment plagued by economic uncertainty, doing more with fewer resources is a requirement.
With new technologies such as virtualization and cloud set to change the way SMBs are approaching their IT infrastructure and benefits like streamlined operations and lower operational costs, technologies like de-duplication, compression and adoption of cloud/virtualization today is no longer an option exclusive to large enterprises. These advanced technologies help to increase efficiency, save money, and make their IT infrastructure more agile to respond to changing business needs. The uncontrolled growth of digital data presents many challenges to the SMBs. One of the primary challenges lies in storing large volumes of data and managing data retention. Data growing with a rapid pace and IT is a business’s enabler , Securing data consistently gains significant importance.
Transforming IT from a bottleneck into a competitive asset starts with a smart decision regarding your storage strategy. Some crucial points that really define how crucial a robust storage system is in a SMB environment include:
- What data can your business not afford to lose?
- How many days could your business survive in the event of a disaster that destroyed all your computers and/or their contents?
- How much time is being wasted in performing backups of individual servers and workstations, or in adding servers to cope with the explosion of data?
- How have your storage needs expanded in the past year, and what are the projections for how much more you will need in the next year or two?
- How rapidly your Storage infrastructure responds to changes?
- Can your business afford downtimes because of up gradation requirement by IT?
For the SMB CIO, building a data storage and backup system is a lot like buying an insurance plan. He knows his small business should have it, but he’s also hoping he’d never have to use it. For small businesses-often without dedicated IT staff responsible for storage and backup-having that insurance policy is critical. And just like buying an insurance plan, it’s very important that you carefully evaluate all the options when building a storage solution into your small business network.
Again for the SMB CIO “scale” really does mean something very different than it does for the enterprise CIOs. An SMB CIO needs a solution that can scale very granularly and affordably, without having to use a forklift every time capacity needs to be expanded. To put things simply the SMB CIO simply needs a solution that can support their current workloads, scale to meet additional business demands and pave the way for ease of use.
As I see it, the SMB CIO mandate comprises of the following –
– Make the most of limited budgets and resources
– Free time, money, and people to focus on the business
– Protect storage investments
For an SMB an effective storage investment will provision for efficient data management, ease of use and an ability to scale, whilst never posing as a bottleneck to business growth. In the process this ensures lower CAPEX investment, a higher ROI and enhanced data protection with innovative storage systems that won’t outgrow your business needs.
For midsized businesses and distributed enterprises facing explosive data growth, the efficient FAS2200 series offers powerful, affordable, and flexible data storage. Among its advantages it reduces administrator time, cuts disk purchases by 50% or more, substantially reduces provisioning time (upto 90%) and lower down test and development time by half.
With new Clustered storage systems which are built on a unified architecture and use the same operating system, software, and management tools, Scaling or adding capabilities is as simple as turning on a license. Systems are easy to scale without asking for downtimes for carrying out such upgrades thereby achieving non disruptive operations.
As the SMB business needs evolve – the CIO can simply bid goodbye to “rip and replace”, add new capabilities on the fly, grow and evolve in minutes, repurpose storage investments and make “yes” a standard IT response.